By Eileen Fleming
It’s always about the money and so pharmaceutical companies eager to grab the attention of doctors and patients are using the letters X and Z in the naming of non-and highly addictive drugs.
X branded drugs include prostate cancer treatment Xtandi, lung cancer drug Xalkori, and Xgeva for cancer that has spread to bone.
Only AFTER my brother, James Alexander Kasmir committed suicide on Feb. 11, did I his legal next of kin learn what his diagnoses were and that he had been prescribed multiple drugs that included the letters X or Z!
And I had to raise hell to get that information!
Jim was addicted to seven X or Z pills for the treatment of anxiety, depression, muscle spasms, pain and migraines.
Jim also was taking medication for nausea and gastrointestinal distress that included the letters X or Z.
Vince Budd, senior vice president at brand consulting firm Addison Whitney’s spoke regarding popular drugs for depression, “The X and Z trend was pretty hot and heavy eight or nine years ago – that’s when we had names like Zoloft, Zyban and Zocor. It was seen as an opportunity to create something unique. I believe we have come full circle and we are back there again…”
Of the 15 drugs with “X” appellations approved by the Food and Drug Administration since 1995, seven were launched in the last two and half years. Marketing and linguistics experts say the rarity of X and Z in most words makes for memorable, unique names using “fricative” letters that imply speed or fluidity.
Neither speed nor fluidity was in play in time to alert Jim’s siblings to his current diagnoses and addictions before he ended his life.
Those who knew Jim from childhood knew he was neurotic; but none of us knew he was addicted to mind altering medications and had been diagnosed with Clinical Depression!
Until Jim married thirteen years ago he was fully self-sufficient and as far as any of us knew he was happily married -that is until the marriage broke up shortly after I saw Jim and his then wife in early 2013.
No mention was made of Jim having been diagnosed with mental illness and neither I, nor my husband an Internist picked up any aberrant behavior.
There were people who knew Jim was suffering a clinical depression and that he would be left rudderless when his divorce was finalized in January which also would end his long term relationship with the “family counselor” Psychiatrist.
WHY didn’t some one contact me that Jim had been expressing suicidal thoughts for the last 18 months because I had the power to commit him to a long term treatment facility!
During this most excruciating time of my life I have searched for answers from those that knew Jim best over the last few months and have been being ignored, stonewalled or attacked but I prefer to address and thank Ventura Medical Examiner James Baroni, who after I published Suicide Prevention: Break the Silence #JimKaz received a reply from Dr. Manipod, because it saved me much time!
The Psychiatrist informed the Medical Examiner that she had never seen my brother because he failed to keep his first three appointments.
I want to know WHY this RED FLAG was missed by those in the know of my brother’s situation.
I want to know WHY on the day he choked his throat he was prescribed Codeine.
I want to know WHY on Feb. 6 [five days before he killed himself] he was given an injection of Decadron a potent steroid contraindicated for patients with depression or any mental problems!
I want to know WHY after my brother was injected with Decadron no one in our family was alerted that he needed to seek medical attention right away if he experienced general body discomfort, headache, muscle pain or mood swings.
I want to know WHY I didn’t just phone Jim after he Texted me on Feb. 3rd because just maybe hearing his voice I would have known something was wrong.
MAYBE if Jim had heard mine he would have remembered he could tell his sister anything and he would have opened his throat and let his pain out.
Maybe I could have helped. Maybe not, but being deprived of that opportunity to try propels me to do all I can to prevent any family from going through what mine is.
Maybe I Better Call Saul, but I will call Ventura California’s Kaiser Permanente’s Behavioral Health Department seeking to reach the Psychiatrist who had discharged my brother a few weeks before he died of the only preventable and America’s number one new killer!
STOP Another Brother’s Suicide #JimKaz
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